The New Girl Downstairs, Part Two
(A Side-Shot from The Naked Guy Upstairs)

Hello! This was my contribution to the Nashville Flood Relief charity drive that was held over the summer. I just completely forgot to post to my own account! My bad.

Lots of love and thanks to DragonsExist and pinkpixiechick for beta'ing and pre-reading.


I don't own Twilight, I just love a good cause.

This is chapters two and three of TNGUS in EPOV.


I get home from work feeling utterly exhausted. My last shift was grueling, and I only have a few hours before it's time to head right back to the hospital to fill in for a colleague who was too sick to clock in. After taking a short nap on my couch, I'm just about to order from my favorite Chinese take-out place when there's a knock at my door.

A quick look through the peephole reveals a much unexpected visitor.

It's Brown Eyes.

The girl who left my apartment in an indignant huff just one day ago is now standing right outside my apartment, holding what looks like some plastic food containers.

I open the door and look at her, unable to conceal a big smile.

Somehow, I knew you'd come around, little mouse.

"Oh, hello Bella," I say, giving her an inquisitive glance.

"Hi, Edward," she replies, looking adorably awkward.

"Hey, you said three whole syllables this time," I tease. "What's up?"

She shrugs at me self-consciously, her eyes cast down. It reminds me that I don't especially like it when she hides her eyes from me.

"I made dinner, thought I'd bring it over. I like to cook but always make too much. Would you like some?" she offers.

I try my best not to look surprised, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little floored by this. I didn't think she liked me very much—not much at all, in fact. Despite the gnawing feeling that surely she must be knocking on the wrong guy's door, I try my best to play it cool.

"That depends," I reply, acting as if I'm truly deliberating on whether to let her inside.

What can I say? I like to play with my food.

"Depends on what?" she asks, quirking a suspicious eyebrow at me.

Thinking through my options is probably the best way in which to proceed. Seduction and intimate power play takes planning: a skillful, deliberate orchestration of what to say and how to say it. There's a myriad of responses to the question she's posed. I could joke that perhaps I'd only eat her food if there was a guarantee it wasn't poisoned. I could flirt and comment that I hope she cooked with something that's a known aphrodisiac, but that for me, I need no assistance in that department.

However, in lieu of all these various responses, my mouth began operating without sufficient consultation with my brain.

"Will you come inside and share it with me?" I ask, inwardly cringing the moment the words slip out. I just asked this little mouse to share her cheese with me. Truthfully, this is the first mouse to offer me cheese, as I'm usually drawn to more outgoing types. Not that I'm not used to women asking me to dinner. I've just never once had a woman in my apartment for anything other than sex.

"I think I can manage that," she replies, smiling back at me.

"Alright then, Brown Eyes, come in," I motion, trying my damndest to look nonchalant. I open the door all the way so that she can slip inside.

I literally hold my breath as she brushes past me. It's not the touch itself. I've had more than my reasonable share of feminine forms graze against me. But this—this is something entirely different: the soft sway of her hips, the way the back of her hand lightly sweeps the hair from her face. It's all so womanly and…unconscious? There is no knowing pout on her lips, no mischievous gleam in her eye. There is not one single non-verbal cue to indicate that she's flirting or even attempting to catch my eye.

"It's not much, just some pasta," she says, her face looking shy and unassuming as she places the food down on the table.

"I appreciate it. Thank you," I respond.

"You're welcome," she replies softly.

I shift my weight from one leg to the other, feeling like an awkward teenager picking up his prom date. It should go without saying that this is entirely uncharacteristic of me. The truth of it is, I'll be damned if I know why she's here, why she'd extend a courtesy to me that, frankly, I am undeserving of. I had obviously offended her and neglected to even acknowledge that fact, let alone apologize.

"Uh, have a seat. Would you like some wine?" I offer, pulling her chair out for her.

"Um, OK. I'm not really a drinker, so just like a small glass, please," she replies as she slowly takes her seat.

I return from the kitchen, bringing out wine and everything we need for our meal. Almost as soon as we begin eating, my curiosity about her overtakes me. I start with basic chit-chat, asking whether she's a student, and if so, what she's studying. She's entirely too modest about it all: double major in English and Creative Writing at Harvard, yet, she relays it to me as if she'd stumbled it into blindly and isn't quite sure how she's gotten as far as she has. It's just absurd, really. Surely, she's aware of her intellect.

"So, an English major, huh? You have any plans for after you graduate?" I ask.

"Yeah, actually, I'm planning on applying to graduate school. Not sure where, though, just yet. I'm still working on that," she replies with a nervous laugh.

It's clear that I'm making her feel self-conscious, for whatever reason. So I decide to switch tactics slightly.

"So, is your boyfriend just going to follow you wherever you end up?" I probe very conspicuously.

"I don't have a boyfriend," she answers, clearly a little unnerved by my question. I try to offset it with a little flattery.

"Well, that's surprising—a pretty girl like you," I offer. I've found that the majority of women, at least in my experience, love a nice compliment. It puts them at ease, and reinforces the idea that I'm interested in them.

"I just don't have a lot of time, especially now. I have this really long thesis I need to write," she explains before chewing on the side of her bottom lip. She seems even more nervous by my attention, which confuses me. This isn't the usual outcome.

"People make time for what they want, Brown Eyes," I say with a suggestive smirk. Perhaps a little bit of teasing will loosen her up. She seems completely humorless in my company, and I find that a slightly frustrating. I happen to be very fucking good at making women smile, laugh, sigh, moan…

"I do want...that," she retorts. Her face blushes and her body stiffens slightly.

Oh, I bet you want 'that'.

"Then why don't you get that?" I challenge.

"Get what?" she questions back, looking slightly annoyed.

"What you need," I explain.

"I don't 'need' anything," she sniffs. Clearly, I'm dancing on the edge of sword—hoping to coax out her more uninhibited side without exasperating her.

"Brown Eyes, everybody needs it," I say, finding her discomfort a little too amusing. I just can't help it—that blush is amazingly beautiful. I'd do or say anything to keep that sexy flush to her skin from ever going away.

"What?" she asks, noticing me studying her.

"You look really tense. How long has it been?" I probe.

"I'm not telling you that!" she snaps.

"That long, huh?" I quip, tilting my head.

"You're really forward and inappropriate, you know that?"

But your buttons…they're so tantalizingly pressable.

"And yet I'm willing to bet I 'get what I need' a lot more than you do. That should tell you something," I inform her.

"Can we change the subject?" she asks, her annoyance clear.

"More wine?" I ask, holding the bottle up to her glass.

"Yes, please," she replies. She looks desperate to get more alcohol into her system.

A little panty peeler never hurts.

"So, what's this paper you're going to be working on?" I ask, hoping to change the subject. I would love to talk about sex more, but at this rate, she'll leave in a huff again.

"Uh...it's um...not all that interesting, really," she stammers, looking more embarrassed than she has ever before. It makes me incredibly curious as to why this question is uncomfortable. It seems an innocuous enough subject.

"What? You don't want to tell me?" I ask, trying to look sweet.

"Um, it's on, um, eroticism in Victorian poetry," she mumbles.

Eroticism? This girl—this bookworm—is writing a thesis on sex? My libido is screaming at me for details, for any sort of mental imagery my brain can conjure up. Perhaps this little mouse likes to wear a naughty school girl uniform to the library.

"I'm sorry, what? Can you repeat that?" I tease, cupping my hand over my ear. I'm not ashamed to admit that my playfulness is only partly to tease her. Mostly, I just want to hear her say the word 'eroticism' again.

She sighs at me in frustration.

"Eroticism in Victorian poetry," she spits, her words clipped.

It's not right, nor is it polite. Yet, I can't help myself: I laugh uproariously. It's just too rich to pass up on how deliciously ironic this is. Plus, I need to see her blush again. I love to see the way she gets ruffled, but at the same time, angry and peeved. There's so much passion in this shy, reserved woman.

"This is good. Let me see if I understand," I say as I bite my lip to keep from laughing again. "You read about 'it,' write about 'it,' but you don't have time to actually do 'it?' Do I understand that right?" I ask, basking in the fact that I'm pointing out something so entirely ironic that I can almost taste it.

Her face changes quickly. It loses all expression and becomes blank for a second before turning color in anger instead of embarrassment. Her mouth sets in a firm, straight line and her eyes bore into me. Clearing her throat loudly, she puts her wine glass down with enough force that I wonder how she didn't shatter it.

"I don't do 'it' with just anybody. And judging by the way you talk to a woman, it's kind of a mystery to me how you get to do 'it' at all," she accuses.

"I only tell a woman what she needs to hear," I reply calmly, hoping to diffuse her anger.

"Well, I don't need to hear what you're saying right now," she says sharply.

"Sure you do. You should see how wound up you are. To be honest, you could really benefit from directing all that energy in a more constructive way," I tell her. I'm only being honest, after all. It's clear, to me at least, that she's entirely too sexually frustrated. Perhaps if she recognized that and did something about it, she'd be a lot more agreeable a person.

Her eyes widen at me and she gives me a look that screams she's throwing down the gauntlet now. I should have known that someone like her would never in a million years admit how badly their neglected sex life affects their temperament.

"Wow. You're um..." she begins.

"What, Brown Eyes? Go ahead. Say it. Wouldn't be the first time," I admit.

I know exactly what you're about to say. Be my guest and deflect the conversation by making it about me. I've seen this song and dance before. It's not my fault your goody-two-shoes ways make you miserable.

"You're kind of...a pig," she says, shaking her head.

I have to laugh at that. Of course she thinks I'm a pig. Her righteous indignation is adorable. If she only knew how being a pig has gotten me into the beds of more women than I could possibly count.

"Yes. Yes, I am. I'm rather unapologetic about that. I know what I am and I'm more than okay with it. How well do you know yourself?" I ask back. This question gets to the heart of the matter, really. She can call me every name for scoundrel, ladies man, and cad she can come up with. It doesn't change the fact that she ogled me up and down when we met yesterday. It doesn't change my memory of that look on her face—so wanton and desirous.

"I know that I don't like being treated like an object or a thing to use and throw away," she accuses.

"Nobody gets used unless they're deceived in some way. I never lie. And I don't manipulate. And yet, I get plenty of dates," I inform her.

"Doesn't mean it's right. People get hurt thinking they'll get something more and then don't."

"If I didn't put that idea in their head, then that's not my fault," I counter, feeling defensive. I'm being put on the spot for some damn reason, and I don't especially like it. This is, after all, about her inability to recognize her own needs and desires. It's not about my lifestyle and how I wish to interact with the women I'm with.

"So, you basically don't want anyone to ever expect anything from you?" she asks pointedly. The connotation is clear. I don't offer anything because there's nothing to give. For fuck's sake, perhaps it's true, but who does she think she is? I've known her for all of twenty-four hours and she's managed to get under my skin, and now attempts to insinuate that she understands what motivates me and then judges me for it.

"Oh, they should expect something. A lot of it. Over and over," I clarify. I'm nothing if not a very attentive lover. I pride myself on what I can do to a woman's body. There's nothing wrong with two consenting adults having an evening of fun. What's it to her? I made it clear that it's no harm, no foul.

"Wow. You're amazing," she says, her judgmental stance on how I choose to live my life increasing with every passing second.

"Yes, I'm that too," I agree, a little too dismissively. My irritation rises, but I don't show it. "Listen, thanks for the meal, and I'd love to repay the kindness. Normally, I would be very happy to but I have a third shift to work at the hospital. Otherwise, I would've definitely given you the extra time you might have been hoping for when you came up here," I add, not meaning a single word of it in jest. If she wants to play this game, I can play, too. Either she wants sex or she wants nothing. I don't operate under any other circumstances.

The look of disgust on her face causes my insides to churn. I'm not certain why it would affect me so—I've gotten looks of disgust before. I just walk away and move on to more amenable pursuits.

"'Extra time'? Wait, you think I came up here with food so I could do you? That's it. Whatever, dude!" she says icily.

This is how it should be. Be disgusted and move on.

She gets up quickly but knocks her foot into the table leg. She winces and takes a few steps with a slight limp. A slight shock of alarm passes through me. She's hurt herself—in desperation to get away from me, no less. Now I'm the one who feels truly disgusted.

"What's wrong with your foot?" I ask, concerned.

She stands on one leg and leans her hand on the table for balance.

"Nothing, I dropped a box on it the other day and now I've stubbed the same toe twice," she explains with a frown.

"Here, let me just take a quick look at it," I insist, just wanting to make sure she's all right.

I stand up and motion for her to sit back down. Kneeling in front of her, I gently pick up her bare foot and examine it.

"Is it this one right here?" I ask. I can't resist and look up at her face. Her expression has softened, and her eyes look so beautifully tender. I lower my head back down to her foot and gingerly move her pinky toe up and down with two fingers.

"Ouch!" she squeaks.

Maybe if I kissed her foot, over and over, she wouldn't hate me so much. But then again, what's the point?

"You probably just bruised the tendon. If it's still bugging you after a few more days, you should probably get some x-rays," I explain, carefully placing her foot down on the floor.

"Thanks. I should get going," she replies.

"Here, let me help you. You, uh, seem a little clumsy," I offer with a laugh.

I hold my hand out to help her stand up. We stand facing one another. Confusion registers on her face, as I'm sure it does on mine. In the span of half an hour, I went from turned on, to laughing, to angry, to remorseful. I've never felt such a scramble of emotions before, and all from this woman who seems so harmless, so easy to keep company with.

"Yeah, I guess I am clumsy," she agrees, laughing with me. It's a beautiful laugh—genuine and soft. "Look, Edward, I'm sorry I called you a pig," she offers, her face looking slightly sad.

"It's okay. I shouldn't have offended you. I guess we're even," I reply. I feel contrite and slightly foolish for acting the way I did. I had no right to offend her when I knew what I was saying would do just that.

"Fair enough," she answers with a warm smile. "Bye."

"Good night, Bella," I say softly before closing the door behind her and letting out a long, slow breath.

The next evening, I close out an exhausting shift and actually have a free night to myself for the first time in a long while. I've been at the hospital for what seems like one continuous block of time, leaving only to sleep, shower, and order myself takeout. Some days, I wander past Bella's apartment and hear her light footsteps. I badly want to knock, but don't.

I meet James at a bar near the brownstone, where we quickly make the acquaintance of some very lovely women. Several rounds of drinks later, I wind up escorting a pair of ladies (one on each arm) back to my apartment. One's a blonde with amazing tits and the other is a brunette with legs that go for miles. I smile at the idea of those shapely ankles pressed on either side of my neck.

I slow down as we enter the foyer of the brownstone when I drop my keys. My two companions walk on ahead of me when I point up the staircase and wink.

"Come on Edward, don't keep us waiting," I hear the blonde say.

What was her name again? Sherry? Terry? Kerry? Hell if I know.

"Hi," I hear the brunette say with a rather unattractive laugh. "Sorry to disturb your...whatever," she adds with a haughty tone to her voice.

Oh, shit. Please, don't talk to her like that. She's a nice girl.

I manage to reach Brown Eyes' door before she closes it. I'm relieved because I badly want to say hello and hopefully smooth over the rude attitude my 'friends' just displayed.

"Good evening, Bella," I greet, realizing only now that I sound, and in fact am, rather drunk.

"Hi," she says in a clipped tone.

"Back to one syllable, huh, Brown Eyes? I told you, I know what I am," I explain, thinking, rather like a jackass, that this is the way to smooth things over.

Why can't I think before I speak when I'm around this woman?

She has no sarcastic retort, no judgmental reprimand. But what she does offer is something entirely worse.

Brown Eyes just stares at me. A thousand things pass over her face, but it's all one long, entirely silent diatribe that makes no sound, yet trills in my ears. I can't hear it, but it's blindingly plain.

You're disgusting.

I feel sorry for you. Can you really not do better than this—taking two drunken women home whose names you don't even know?

I'd never share myself with a man like you.

I just turn away and keep walking, unable to handle looking her in those beautiful eyes a second longer.

I know what I am.

A few minutes later, I stand in my living room and pour drinks for Blonde with Tits and Brunette with Legs. They sit on my couch, whispering and giggling to each other. I don't hear words, just sounds. I hand them both some wine before making myself a much-needed scotch on the rocks.

"So, Edward, what are you in mood for?" Brunette asks, smiling seductively while heaving her chest at me. Her tits aren't as nice as Blonde's, and I suppose this is her way of compensating.

I'm bored. Is it completely insane that I'd rather be having dinner with Brown Eyes again?

"I have an idea!" Blonde perks up. "Why don't we put on a show for him?" she asks with a coo, looking at me and licking her lips. Her lips look like they've had enough collagen put in them for an entire army of porn stars.

"Mmmhmmm," moans Brunette. "Let's make him excited," she slurs. I can smell her perfume from where I'm setting several feet away. The entire room reeks with it, in fact.

The both of them hobble over to the coffee table in front of me and sit side-by-side along one side. I put my drink down and rub my face. Brunette's perfume is making my eyes water.

They slowly start to touch one another. First is just a light stroke of an arm, or a graze along the cheek. Soon their lips touch lightly. I find myself wishing Brunette would turn her head so that her face is more obscured. Her hair is almost the same shade and length as Bella's. If I squint and so that I don't have to see her face, I can pretend she is Brown Eyes.

I lean forward and touch Brunette's hair just enough to make it fall forward and conceal her face, just like Bella's does.

"That looks better, Misty," I offer, remembering Brunette's actual name. But she looks annoyed.

"It's Mitzi," she corrects. I simply shrug at her. Misty is what she makes my eyes with that God-awful toxic perfume, so Misty is what she'll be called.

I'm not sure why Misty needs to look like Bella or even remind me of Bella. She just needs to. If the real Brown Eyes can't stomach me, maybe I can use a suitable stand-in to assuage my ego. Not to mention, it certainly helps make Misty/Mitzi/Whoever look a lot more attractive.

"Oooh yeah, touch me," Blonde moans to Misty. Honestly, I've heard porn actresses who sounded more passionate.

I'm still trying to squint at Misty, both because it helps with my watering eyes and to make her morph into Brown Eyes. It's not working.

Simply put, this is about as big a turn on as a visit with my grandmother. My dick, limp and fast asleep in my pants, wholeheartedly agrees.

"Um, Terry?" I say, interrupting her loud, artificial moaning. "I'm ready to turn in for the night. I've had a long day," I explain, hoping this not-so-subtle hint is enough to get her on her way.

"It's Sherry," she corrects, looking peeved.

Whatever.

"Maybe we should tuck you in," Misty offers with a pout. "I can be your teddy bear," she forces. I try my damndest not to, but I wince noticeably.

I'd rather undergo a root canal. Performed by a monkey. With a hacksaw.

"While that does sound tempting, Misty," I begin.

"Mitzi!" she barks like a little dog.

"Very good. Mit-zeee," I drawl. "I need to be up early tomorrow. Let me just call you both a cab," I insist. I already have my phone out and am dialing my preferred cab company.

They both let out several 'hpmhs' to voice their offense, but I pay no notice. These two are about as appealing as a bowl of boiled, wilted broccoli to me at the moment. Over the last hour or so—since they had been so condescending to Bella, in fact—I've become more and more repulsed by them. I just want them to leave.

I busy myself with clearing our glasses, washing them inordinately slowly, and putting them away when I hear the cab honking from outside.

Fearing they'd not take the hint, I walk them downstairs and practically shove them into the waiting taxi. I make completely hollow promises to call them even though I know I never will.

I pass Brown Eye's front door and stop for a moment. I try to imagine what she might be doing at that moment. Perhaps she's reading one her of textbooks—poring over her love poems and typing away at that thesis she has to write. I picture her hair in a bun, held in place by a pencil. Her face must be fixed in concentration but tilting slightly, elongating her slim, long neck in a beautiful, perfect, and naturally sensual way.

Fuck, I want to knock on her door. I want to knock so badly, I can taste it.

Apparently, my dick can taste it too, because he's awake now. Two leggy women making out mere inches from me held no appeal whatsoever, but the idea of a bookworm writing a paper suddenly brings him out of his stupor, oddly enough.

I hold my hand, closed in a fist, right over her door. But with a resigned sigh, I turn and walk back upstairs. This is, after all, what's best for her.

Returning to my apartment, my mind seems to be at war with my body. I don't know what to do with myself. I can't even sit in my own living room, thanks to Misty defiling it with her odor. I can't go to sleep because I'm…too drunk and horny, to be totally blunt. I decide that a long, hot shower is in order.

I quickly shuffle into the bathroom and turn on the tap before shedding my clothes. Stepping into the welcoming spray of the shower, I let the firm pulse of water ease my tense muscles. I close my eyes and take several deep breaths, hoping to forget the last few hours of the evening.

In no time, my brain conjures images of Bella in various states of undress. This is nothing new. I've pictured countless women in my mind when the mood struck and the need for some self-gratification was warranted.

Soaping up my torso, I wrap my lathered-up hand around my erection, and with my eyes closed, imagine Brown Eyes in a variety of poses: lying on my bed in nothing but a tiny pair of panties that I slowly peel down the length of her creamy, smooth legs; straddling my lap, topless and with her hand inside her unbuttoned jeans as she touches herself for me; kneeling in front of me and taking me in her mouth while her captivating eyes stare directly at me.

My dick is as hard as a rock and I can feel myself just at the edge of the precipice. My groin aches and my balls tighten as my hand works the length of my shaft faster and faster. I want to cum. I need to cum. My hand moves more frantically and my fantasies become more and more lewd.

Brown Eyes with a can of frosting, swirling a dab of the sweet, sticky substance around her nipples before begging me to lick it off.

"God," I groan, biting my lip.

Brown Eyes wearing a fire engine red vinyl corset with matching fishnet stockings and garters, while slapping a leather paddle against her palm and informing me that I've been a very bad boy.

"Fucking hell," I gasp, clenching my jaw and working my cock furiously. I have to orgasm—my entire body feels as if it's engulfed in flames.

Brown Eyes cradled in my arms as I hover above her, my hips gently thrusting against hers as I stroke in and out of her. She looks into my eyes and whispers 'I love you, Edward.'

"Oh, Bella…Bella, yes," I grunt loudly as I cum in several long, thick streams. I don't bother trying to think until I finish washing up and turn off the shower. It takes my head several moments to clear, and it's not until I rattle it by vigorously drying my hair with a towel that sentient thought returns.

"It was just a fantasy," I mutter to myself. It seems I can't even jerk off without this woman causing me some sort of aggravation. But I decide that I'm too tired, mentally and physically, to dissect and analyze the reasons why.

I return from work that Saturday evening and park my car across the street from the brownstone. As I lock up, two figures standing on the sidewalk outside the building register in my periphery. I turn to take a closer look and notice Brown Eyes standing face-to-face with a guy.

Why is she standing so close to him?

I shake off my sudden feeling of possessiveness. It's entirely absurd. She's a virtual stranger to me, after all. In fact, she'd be better off dating a nice co-ed.

Or would she?

As I approach them and am able to see them more clearly, I immediately notice Bella perform the classic 'turn and pull back' maneuver used by women throughout history as a signal to the gentleman who's fixated on her attention that she is, very unequivocally, not interested in being kissed.

And what does this asshole do? He tries again to put his filthy lips on her. Without any hesitation, I cross the street quickly to go to her side. I'm drawn to her like a magnet, and my anger only flares exponentially when I see the way she is looking down at the ground, her shoulders slumped in defeat. She clearly does not want this asshole touching her.

"Bella, are you okay?" I ask, momentarily ignoring the little punk standing next to her.

"We're fine," says the fellow who is clearly infringing on her good graces. I take a moment to inspect this young man and hope that my very unfriendly glaring is enough to impel him to make his excuses and leave.

"I didn't ask you," I inform him.

"Well, I'm telling you," he replies with a snarl. It seems he feels he has the right to keep existing, because not only does he not turn tail and disappear, he has the fucking gall to mouth off at me.

Then he has the audacity to put his hand on Brown Eyes and attempt to pull her away.

"Um, Jake, maybe you should…" Bella says, but this Jake dog touching her causes me to speak up again.

"Bella, is this guy hassling you?" I ask, gently tugging her other arm.

"No, he's not—he was just walking me home. Jake, this is my neighbor, Edward," she explains, being entirely too polite, where clearly it isn't warranted. "We were just saying 'goodnight,' right, Jake?" she adds.

"Perfect," I say, as I force myself to smile in order to remain calm. "Goodnight, Jake," I add with finality before ushering Brown Eyes up the stoop.

"Edward!" she protests, but I ignore her. "Bye, Jake," she mutters quickly.

"You sure you're alright?" I ask again.

"I'm fine!" she snaps. "I didn't need your help. I can take care of myself," she answers angrily. The fiery blaze in her eyes stuns me momentarily. She's a force to be reckoned with when she's angry.

"I never said you couldn't. I just wanted to make sure that guy wasn't bothering you," I reply defensively.

"You know what? I got myself into that situation; I could've gotten myself out," she says, undeterred by my explanations.

"You can't always control what other people do to you," I explain simply. Plenty of things happen that are beyond one's control. Surely, she can see the logic in this.

"I know that! I know that really well. All kinds of shit has happened to me that was out of my control, trust me. So quit fucking psychoanalyzing me like I'm a fucking test subject or something. Why do you care, anyway? I thought you knew what you were, right? Just a pig?" she rails, her eyes wide with anger and hurt pride.

My own anger swells in response to hers. I was only trying to help—trying to be a gentleman to her for once. Even this gets meet with resistance? Why? I can't do right by her, no matter how hard I try.

"Whoa. Why so pissed off? You know what? You're a miserable little prude. You're determined not to like me," I snarl.

"And you're an asshole. Goodnight, Edward. Leave me alone," she bellows before walking into her apartment and promptly slamming the door in my face.

Once again, I hold my hand, closed in a fist, right over her door. But with another a resigned sigh, I turn and walk back upstairs. This is, after all, what's best for her.